Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Anonymous Convicted Offenders

This morning I read a story about an Ottawa man (I presume it's an Ottawa man) who was convicted of sexually molesting his four-year-old step-daughter.

There are no details about this man.

If I cannot know who this man is, what is the point of this article? I don't know the victims, I don't know the offender. I'm not even sure he lives in Ottawa.

Shouldn't people know the identity of convicted sexual molesters?

I know that protecting the offender's identity is supposed to be a means of protecting the victim's identity. If you happen to know that family, then you know their dirty laundry.

That being said, isn't the whole point of reporting these events to protect the public?

I don't want a convicted child offender within 100 feet of my kids.

How are we supposed to protect our children if we don't know who has offended?

I also have a problem with our Justice System protecting the identity of youth offenders.

I don't mind the anonymity when it comes to minor crimes like vandalism and graffiti. Kids do dumb things and most of them smarten up by age 21.

I do mind that the names of murderers and sex offenders are not revealed.

They will probably five years (at the most) and be out.

Doesn't the public have the right to know who poses a potential threat?

Wouldn't it be in the interest of victims that people do know who the guilty parties are so that we can look out for them? Suppose I happen to live in the same community as this convicted offender and I see him near his step-daughter. Aren't I in a better position to protect her if I know that he has a history of molesting her?

I can understand that a child might not want to reveal to the world these things and have the whole community know his business, but on the other hand, if a crime is being committed against a child, shouldn't we know that a certain child is vulnerable and in need of protection?

I think these notions of anonymity are really dated and don't really serve the public interest.